Mother Hubbard's Cupboard

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Location: East Peoria, Illinois, United States

A Lutheran seminarian eagerly awaiting the return of Our Lord. Soli Deo Gloria!

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

The Rational Response Squad, Christopher Hitchens, and Richard Dawkins

Old Testament Reading-Joshua 10:1-25
New Testament Reading-Acts 11:19-30
Psalms-Morning: 89:1-18
Evening:1, 33

Icon of the Day: The Visitation-celebrated July 2nd

Secular holiday-July 4th!

Alright....this is just absurd! If you visit the Rational Response Squad's website, they say that they defeated Ray Comfort and Kirk Cameron in the official Nightline Debate over the existence of God. First of all, neither side won. The draw was made apparent because while Ray and Kirk completely didn't understand evolution, neither did Brian Sapient or "Kelly." However, just because you argue that evolution is true, that does not discount a designer. The argument that Ray was making with the painting is still 100% valid.

Ray's argument with the painting was that if you took a painting into a lab, you would conclude it was painted, or designed. Brian said, you could call the architech of a building to prove it had a designer and you can't do that with God. Ironically, Ray held up the Mona Lisa.....go ahead and call Leonardo Brian, we'll wait. Brian's final and very self-defeating cosmological concept was that matter was eternal and the universe has always existed. Well, what do we need for THAT to be true?

We would need: 1. More matter than the universe has so that it could continually have big bangs/crunches.
2. A physical mechanism to turn heat into a different form of energy.
3. Build matter from energy experimentally (we MAY have done this).
4. Ignore any consideration of time. Time after all is movement in the fourth dimension. Brian's argument is akin to saying, I have always ran down the road. I never started nor will I ever stop. That is absurd, but it is simply another dimension of space.....so my argument here is still valid.
5. He may have gotten the first law of Thermodynamics correct....but he DIDN'T mention the 2nd Law.....that entropy increases as time goes on (there's that pesky time again!). It was this very combination of laws that "proves" that a supernatural creator was necessary for the universe to come into existence. Matter and energy must have had a beginning because they tend towards entropy IN TIME, with heat (thermal energy) being the most entropic form of energy and matter. As a result, they had to have a beginning since there is no mechanism in existence that can 100% convert thermal energy to another form. Hence, since the first law cannot be violated (matter and energy cannot be created), a singularity must have occurred that created the universe which by virtue of matter in existence start time forward.

Brian and Kelly's point of view is invalidated by the laws of thermodynamics....and that is why very few scientists believe the universe has always existed (Carl Sagan among them). So your argument against design failed because you cannot call up the dead architects or artists to prove that they really made designs, and your cosmological argument failed. Case closed.

The fact remains that a singularity would be needed to explain the big bang in general. While Ray and Kirk were wrong with saying, "nothing exploded," because a singularity is something, it is still scientific to say nothing existed before the singularity. Hence, what created the singularity anyway? What is the evidence for the big bang theory? Well we have a few ideas behind that......ones which have yet to explain how galaxies can collide into each other going in opposite ways.....or why the Andromeda M31 galaxy is coming towards us, not away as the idea behind the universe expanding states. I still like the idea of creationist cosmologist Dr. Russel Humphrey's "white hole cosmology" where he takes the two assumptions in the equations for the big bang theory. Implicit within the big bang theory are two assumptions: 1. There is no center to the universe and 2. space is infinite. He switched them to 1. There is a center to the universe, and 2. Space is not infinte.

From this theory there is instead an expansion that occurs so rapidly that within the first 24 hour day of earth's creation, our galaxy is already in existence. Time is rapidly sped up at the edges of expansion. In other words, from our perspective near the center of the expansion, time occurs normally, but at the edges of the expanding wave, time is extremely sped up. It is a worthwhile theory to look into because he claims that it explains observations of magnetic moments in planets that the nebular hypothesis of the formation of our solar system cannot.

From here, I thought it was bad enough, until I heard of a debate about the existence of God on Hardball with Chris Matthews between Christopher Hitchens and the Rev. Al Sharpton. I never thought I would root for Al Sharpton....but oh did I. Hitchens recently wrote a book called "Why God is not good: How religion poisons everything." He does not tell you in that book that the 20th century is the year when secular/humanistic/atheistic governments killed more people than in the past combined. He does not tell you that two of his fellow writers at "Free Inquiry" magazine became Christians because they realized Christianity was more intellectually tenable (with some help by the Holy Spirit...'natch). My favorite however is the intellectual dishonesty and complete irrationality which he uses. He said, "religion tells people that God created them from a clot of blood (Islam) or a clump of dirt (Judaism, Christianity)...." For starters, this equates religion....something which he assumes you can do, but if you are going to disprove religion you must play by the proper rules. You can't play sociologist (he's an essayist) and expect to come to the conclusion that Christianity is correct.

Instead he fails to recognize how correct Christianity is: 1. When we die (opposite of creation), we return to dust.....this is observed.
2. Our fallen nature leads us to sin by not loving God or our neighbors......this is observed....that's why anarchy has never worked and we need laws.
3. Our ability to create and manipulate our emotions with art is a result of our creative ability as being made in the image of God..........this is observed....unless you think our mentality is an accident of moving from the trees to land......this origin would logically procede that anything we did with our intellect is an accident in the big scheme. I guess I accidentally appreciate fine art and architecture....elements of design which we are geared to recognize.
4. Our conscience recognizes right from wrong..................Hitchens believes in absolute morality.......from what source? The state? Hiel Hitler????
5. Our ability to love our offspring, even those who are not our own, and mourn when they are lost.................this is observed and is what God did by dying on the cross for us, His separated and lost children...................This is all an accident to Hitchens. Or some would say we mourn for the loss of our own energy and time expended in raising a failed child.......but why would we mourn? Why don't we just get back to work?

Face it....people like Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, and the RRS set up a strawman of Christianity, painting it as a mad dictator from the sky who likes to punish us and send us to Hell unless we believe in Him. This could not be further from the truth!!! But instead of actually reading the Bible and UNDERSTANDING IT, they read the Bible a few times to say they have (if indeed they aren't lying) and make stupid statements which people like to hear because it means they themselves don't have to think. Face it......God exists and this is evident from what you see with your own eyes. Face it..........Christianity explains psychology, nature, and most things better than any other religion. Face it...........to deny what your eyes see and brain recognize as design in nature is to fundamentally doubt your senses. How then could you trust what you would see in a lab? Face it..........you trust art historians to tell you Leonardo Da Vinci painted the Mona Lisa but doubt Christian historians who tell you Jesus existed, died, rose again, and that his followers died in the hundreds for Him peacefully!!!! Where are the atheist martyrs? Face it...............atheism is untenable!

5 Comments:

Anonymous Michael said...

Thanks for linking this for me. There's a problem in the reasoning for both sides. Before the Big Bang occurred, time and space did not have the same meaning they do today. The Laws of Thermodynamics may have been completely different or not exist at all. The convenient problem is that we CAN'T KNOW. We will never be able to. There is no evidence in the current universe that can tell us what it was like before its creation/Big Bang. Could it have been there all along? Yes. Could a God have created it? Yes. I don't think the Bible has the answer to this question, only a possibility. Arguing over what created the universe is pointless in my opinion. But believing you know the answer is presumptuous, in my opinion. I love this debate!

5:25 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

I'm glad you do! The real issue at hand and the one most people forget is that it isn't the creation of the universe that need be defended, but Christ's existence, death, and resurrection. Once that is defended the rest flows from it. I know that cosmologists think the Laws of Thermodynamics may have been different or not existed at all in the beginning as you say. That of course leads any discussion of the origin of everything to the realm of speculation, and you are right in pointing out that any side can give their opinion of the whole thing at that point....even the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

6:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The painting that Ray held up when examined in a lab would be found to have had no painter, and in fact been found it was created by a machine. Ironically Ray didn't use a painting that had a painter.

11:44 AM  
Blogger Chris said...

LOL! That is interesting....but also shows a point.....Ray held up a copy of a painting made by a machine. The machine had a maker and what it made had a designer who the machine mimicked to make the copy, "in the image" of the original work. The problem just gets shifted back, but the point is still valid.

1:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great stuff, Chris! And you even link to Liturgy Soluuuuuuuutions!

;)

Now that I've found you on the web Cheryl & I will both be checking in.

To keep current on all things Magness, check out Cheryl's blog:

www.roundunvarnishedtale.blogspot.com

I'm off to HIGHER THINGS on Monday AM - so I'll be thinking about our trip to Atlanta with McG, Holli, Stephanie, et al. back in 98. Can you believe it has been almost 10 years!

Please check in next time you are in Chicagoland!

In Christ,

phil

8:55 PM  

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